You take care of yourself, exercising and eating right, even boasting that you never get sick. Then, out of nowhere, it hits you. A particularly nasty cold, or maybe the flu. The illness passes, but after that things are never quite the same. You catch every cold in the office. A stubborn cough lingers for weeks. When you do get sick, you have difficulty breathing, coughing gives you chest pains and produces phlegm, and you’re exhausted, plagued with fever, headaches, and chills. By now you’ve stopped boasting, and have started wondering what on earth happened to your immune system.
The answer is simpler than you think. That bout with the flu? It weakened your lungs and they never fully recovered, making them more susceptible to illness. Other culprits include asthma, a serious illness in childhood, and exposure to toxic environments and mold – especially in Wilmington, NC, where excessive humidity creates a breeding ground for all kinds of fungi. Lung problems can also be caused by emotional factors. In Asian medicine, our lungs and our ability to deal with sadness are connected. Unexpressed grief can become stuck within the body, inhibiting our life energy force – known as our qi – and resulting in persistent coughs and bronchitis.
While over-the-counter drugs can alleviate some symptoms, many people have turned to acupuncture to get to the root of the problem. In 2007, a Chinese medical journal discovered that, in a study of 200 cases of bronchitis, the group that received acupuncture treatments experienced better short and long-term improvements. Acupuncturists such as Dr. Robert, who practices acupuncture in the Wilmington area, stimulate certain points in order to activate the body’s qi and signal the brain to release hormones and chemicals, which has been effective in reducing pain and improving health.
If you’ve been experiencing any of the lung issues listed above, consider trying these methods to heal yourself naturally and completely:
- Practicing breathing and chest opening exercises, such as yoga or stretching, as well as brisk walking.
- Finding supportive avenues to help with grief, like a trained therapist or a good friend, in order to express repressed feelings.
- Avoiding raw or cold foods/drink, as well as dairy, wheat, and sugar when sick. These foods create phlegm and can prolong a sickness.
- Receiving acupuncture treatments from professionals.
With the aid of these simple lifestyle changes, you can strengthen your lungs, avoid recurring colds, and earn back your boasting rights. Don’t let the legacy of the Year of the Horse be the year you were hoarse – make your acupuncture appointment today.